Point to Point Transport law reform affects all ride sharing services.
There is a risk based regulatory scheme for responsible entities.
Penalties apply for failing to comply with relevant duties.
Point to Point Transport includes all flexible transport services that can take customers on the route they choose, at the time that suits them. Point to Point Transport include:
- Hire cars
- Tourist services
- Rideshare services
- Community transport
Point to Point Transport law changes
Emerging technologies and the growing popularity of ridesharing in NSW has created a number of challenges. In response, the NSW Government has introduced reforms to the taxi, hire car and rideshare industry. These reforms will provide a more level playing field for the whole industry as well as improving safety and choice for customers.
Under the Point to Point Transport (Taxis and Hire Vehicles) Act 2016 (the Bill was assented to on 22 June 2016)- a new regulator, the Point to Point Transport Commission will be established to manage the compliance of these new laws by taxis, hire cars and ride share operators.
The Act creates a risk based regulatory scheme with clear accountabilities based on the framework to that under the Rail Safety National Law. The Act imposes duties on passenger and booking service providers and officers and workers of the providers. Taxi companies and booking services, including ride sharing companies, have an obligation to ensure that services are safe. It requires duty holders to address safety risks and protect passengers.
Some of the salient provisions of the Act include, but are not limited to:
- A primary duty to ensure the health and safety of providers and other persons, so far as reasonably practicable – section 12.
- An officer of a duty holder must exercise due diligence (includes taking reasonable steps) to ensure that the duty holder complies with that duty or obligation -section14.
- A duty of a driver to take reasonable care for his or her own safety and to take reasonable care that his sure that their acts or omissions do not adversely affect the safety of others and comply, so far as the driver is reasonably able, with any reasonable instruction- section 15.
- The creation of primary duty offences categories as follows:
|Safety Duty Offence Category 1
Where a person has a safety duty and engages in conduct, without a reasonable excuse, that exposes an individual to whom the duty is owed to a risk of death or serious injury or illness and the person is reckless as to the risk- section 16.
- $300,000 and/or 2 years imprisonment for individuals.
- $3 million for a body corporate.
|Safety Duty Offence Category 2
Where a person has a safety duty and fails to comply with that duty and the failure exposes an individual to a risk of death or serious injury or illness- section 17.
- $150,000 for individuals.
- $1.5 million for a body corporate.
|Safety Duty Offence Category 3
Where a person has a safety duty and fails to comply with that duty- section 18.
- $50,000 for individuals.
- $500,000 for a body corporate.
- Multiple contraventions of the safety duty provisions by a person that arise out of the same factual circumstances may be charged as a single offence or as separate offences. A single penalty only may be imposed in relation to 2 or more contraventions- section 19.
- Liability of directors for offences by body corporate offences attracting executive liability for certain offences -section 133.
- The appointment of authorised officers and inspection powers (Part7.)
What does it mean?
Changes to laws for Point to Point Transport mean improved safety, value and choice. The Act is aimed at freeing up the industry of unnecessary red tape to allow for greater innovation and to improve customer choice as well as create more opportunities for the industry. With more opportunities available, there is the establishment of a new regulatory regime to impose safety duties on responsible entities, such as providers of taxi and booking services and vehicle owners to ensure that vehicles are roadworthy at all times and to keep records relating to the vehicles maintenance. The Act places safety accountability squarely with industry participants. The new regulator will have wide ranging powers. The Act provides for compliance and enforcement powers similar to those used for heavy vehicles and rail transport operators. Importantly, authorised officers will have wide ranging compliance tools including audit notices, improvement notices, prohibition notices, penalty notices and enforceable undertakings. The Act allows appeals to the Local Court of NSW against certain decisions of the Regulator.
Post by Philip Cowdery